Your heating bills might be the most expensive part of maintaining a comfortable home this winter. Many factors determine how much you are going to spend to keep your place warm and cozy this year. While you cannot do anything about some of them, here is a look at five of the most common reasons why heating bills are higher than they should be.

Poorly Sealed Windows and Doors. One of the most common reasons behind high heating bills, poorly sealed windows and doors happen to every homeowner. It is essential to inspect your windows and doors at least once a year to ensure they are adequately sealed. Weather, aging, and pests do much damage over the years to caulk and sealing agents, so you should expect to replace these items every few years to maintain a secure seal between your home and the cold air outside of it.

Leather, Plastic, and Glass. Believe it or not, when you heat your home, the only thing that is thoroughly heated is the air. Items closest to the heating vents feel warm to the touch, but most of your other furnishings will not become hot enough to retain any real semblance of heat. This is particularly true of leather, glass, and plastic. Cloth, on the other hand, warms up more readily, and it can help to make you feel warm. Consider adding blankets and pillows to the leather sofa or seat cushions to the kitchen chairs.

Insufficient Insulation. If your home is not insulated well, a lot of your heated air is making it outside through the attic, crawlspace, and basement. Unless you have radiant heating, the air that you heat rises to the ceiling and continues going upward through the attic and out of your home through vents, cracks, and holes. It is important to ensure your attic is insulated well. If you are not up to the task, hire a professional to come in and do it for you. Older homes, in particular, are at greatest risk of needing new insulation due to the detrimental effect that aging, dirt, and pests have on older styles of insulation.

Higher and Higher. The air in your home is not the only thing going higher and higher each day. As you turn the thermostat higher each time the heating cycle kicks off, and the air becomes somewhat chilly, your heating bill continues to rise. Instead of turning the heat up a notch every hour or so, reach for a sweater, blanket, or someone to cuddle.

Taking Your Shoes Off. How many times do you kick off your shoes when you arrive home after a long day of being on the job or shopping? Not wearing shoes, particularly on uncarpeted flooring, can make you feel cold. As a result, you kick up the thermostat, and your bill continues to rise. Grab a pair of slippers or comfortable shoes and keep them on to minimize the cost of heating your home this winter.

Stop dreading your heating bill each month and take charge of reducing this expense. Whether you arrange for a professional energy audit or you conduct one on your own, it is time to find out why the bills to heat your home are so high.

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